WRI is conducting a three-year evaluation of a New Jersey Health Initiatives-funded Next Generation of Community Leaders Program at Gateway Community Action Partnership in Bridgeton, NJ.

The goal of NJHI’s leadership program is to leverage the strengths of young people to affect change in their communities. The program will support communities in preparing the next generation of civic and community leaders by providing them with the resources and technical assistance they need to focus the time, talent, and energy of youth. Participating youth will have the opportunity to make meaningful change through summer employment on self-designed, community-focused projects.

Gateway’s Youth Leadership Program will work with young people to enhance their civic knowledge and leadership skills. Participants will learn about important health issues facing their neighborhoods and what opportunities are available for effective intervention. Based on these insights, participants will design a project to address a health issue impacting the city of Bridgeton. They will become paid employees of Gateway for four weeks in the summer to implement their project and, ultimately, impact the health of their community.